World Check being sued over database of personal information

A number of persons and organizations are allegedly preparing to sue Thomson Reuters, the organization that runs World Check for wrongly listing them in a database as a financial crime risk. World Check created (apparently without informed consent at least under Canadian law), an online global database that purports to provide anti-money laundering, sanctions and [...]

Nigeria gets ex parte asset recovery order for $153,000,000 in proceeds of corruption from PEP parked in banks

The government of Nigeria will be able to recover $153 million in proceeds of corruption from Diezani Allison-Madueke, its former Minister of Petroleum, who was and remains a politically exposed person under anti-money laundering law. The funds were alleged to have been stolen from the Nigerian National Oil Company when it was under her control as [...]

Canada’s anti-money laundering evaluation shows Canada is doing worse, not better, in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing

Canada get 25% compliance grade from FATF FATF notes the concern of proceeds of crime coming into real estate in Vancouver from China The FATF Mutual Evaluation of Canada was released today and according to the Report, Canada achieved a grade of 25% compliance with international anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards. Out of 40 [...]

FBI – “No safe haven anywhere for money launderers” – The fascinating $1B 1MDB civil asset forfeiture case

Largest civil asset recovery case in US of this kind On July 20, 2016, the US Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture case in California to recover assets of more than $1 billion in alleged proceeds of crime resulting from fraud allegedly committed by individuals associated with the Malaysian government’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB“). [...]

P3 infrastructure criminal charges in Canada against a politically exposed person

The RCMP has charged a former head of a Crown corporation, Michel Fournier, and his wife, Judith Fournier, both resident in Victoria, with money laundering in connection with alleged corruption from kickbacks they allegedly received tied to a $127 million contract to renovate the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Fournier had a secret bank account in Switzerland [...]

Iran renews calls for the deportation of Khavari

The requested deportation of Mahmoud Reza Khavari, a former Iranian foreign national, and a Canadian citizen living in Toronto, seems to be at the centre of the arrest of a Canadian professor from Montreal, Homa Hoodfar, also an Iranian foreign national and equally a Canadian citizen, who was visiting Iran. Professor Hoodfar was arrested by [...]

“Responsible Innovation” – What the coming regulation of FinTech will look like

Financial regulators balance innovation and protection Financial regulators serve two important functions for the financial system. 1. They support growth and innovation where it could improve access to finance, or the delivery of financial services or grow the economy. 2. At the same time,  they  protect consumers and society at large by supervising the financial services [...]

US amends anti-money laundering law for beneficial ownership after Panama Papers, including to detect purchases of expensive real estate with illicit money

Panama Papers Driven Changes The US Treasury has announced several amendments, and proposed legislative amendments, to its anti-money laundering (“AML“) legislation in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal to tackle the disclosure of what is called “beneficial ownership.” Beneficial ownership means the beneficial, as opposed to the legal, owner of shares of a private [...]

The Anti-Money Laundering Lawyer’s Primer on Beneficial Ownership and Numbered, Shelf and Shell Companies

Beneficial ownership … Shell companies … Shelf companies … What’s the Difference?  Since the Panama Papers, there seems to be an increasing interest in, and a corresponding misunderstanding of the concepts of beneficial ownership, numbered companies, shell companies and shelf companies. Most lawyers who have done large M&A deals, including me, have created for clients, [...]

Brazil’s former President, his wife and son charged with money laundering

Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and his wife and son were charged with money laundering and identity fraud in connection with real estate purchases. According to Brazil’s prosecutor, the former president used proceeds of crime to acquire real estate in Guaruja for he and his family that was destined for regular families in [...]